Not sure how many people reading here now would know/care about such
things, but I just read the news on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's website
today and couldn't let it go without a mention.
The full obituary is online at post-gazette.com, though it seems to
have conflicting dates of death - the headline says December 29, but
the article's text has it as December 23. Don't know which one is
right. He was 91 years old.
For those who don't know who Carl Hughes was, suffice it to say that
he had more to do with Kennywood's success than anyone else not named
Henninger or McSwigan - indeed, at least as much to do with it as many
people who are named Henninger or McSwigan (the two families who owned
the park until just a few years ago). At least one of them, Harry
Henninger, is quoted in the obit as saying of Mr. Hughes, "He was the
man who truly created Kennywood."
I had the honor of meeting Mr. Hughes briefly when ACE had Coaster Con at
Kennywood in the late 90's. I told him how much the park meant to me as
a kid growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. He wasn't a tall man
in terms of physical stature - somewhere between five and five and a half
feet, if I had to guess - but ask anyone who was in the business in the
last half of the 20th century, and they'll tell you he was a giant.
To his family and friends, you have my deepest sympathies.